Siddle keen to solve the Sachin riddle
Leadership has many facets. It’s not always about telling subordinates what to do and how to do it. It doesn’t have to include mentoring and training of skills. Sometimes, leadership also means going out and doing your job quietly and as honestly you can. Going by that logic, Peter Siddle is a true leader.
Australian cricket is buzzing with young fast bowlers who compete hard and even take turns to bowl for their country. With all the youthful energy, they need a stable hand – someone to look up to in terms of work ethic; someone who is ready to run in hard over after over for the whole day with consistent intensity.
And they believe Siddle is that man. Mitchell Starc and Moises Henriques are among the young Aussie quicks who have acknowledged the role of their 28-year-old senior colleague in inspiring them on the field by putting his heart and body into his game.
Leading Australia’s bowling attack in Chennai, Siddle, often described as a ‘bighearted cricketer,’ caught up with bcci.tv to speak about his new role as a Test spearhead and his younger fellow quicks.
He also analysed Australia’s bowling on the second day of the ongoing Test and spoke about the plan to dismiss Sachin Tendulkar that didn’t work due to the sheer brilliance with which the legend batted.
You guys showed today that when you can scale the 145-kph mark consistently, the nature of the wicket doesn’t matter.
Yeah, that’s right. We showed that a bit. I think we did build a little bit of pressure and were patient. If there’s enough variation in the wicket when the spinners bowl, why shouldn’t it work for the quicks? When we did put the ball in the right areas consistently enough, the variable bounce came into play and it did trouble the batsmen. Probably if we’d been a little more consistent throughout the day, it would’ve been nice.
You’re one of the four players in this squad who has played Test cricket in India before and you’re the spearhead of the attack in this match. Are you relishing that role?
It’s certainly been a bit different. In the last 12 months or so I’ve been the older one in the attack most of the times and it has been a bit weird. But it’s good to work with the younger guys who I’ve seen come up through the ranks. They’ve shown what high quality they can bring to the side.
Many of these young Aussie pacers have said that they draw immense inspiration by watching you go on and on for the whole day in the field without tiring. Is that the aspect that brings out your leadership?
Yes, I think so. Everyone talks about taking the leadership and paving way for the youngsters. I’m not a big talker and believe in showing it on the ground. That’s the easiest way to lead and show the young guys how to go about the game. You watched them bowl today – Mitchell Starc bowled 14 overs in very little time and just kept charging in at a good pace. James Pattinson bowled big spells at high speed. It’s a good group at the moment and we’re all trying to improve. We’re happy to listen to each other; I’m happy to listen to the younger guys as well.
Is the bigheartedness and the ‘never say die’ attitude a result of growing up in Victoria’s countryside?
Yes, I think so. Growing up no matter what sport I played – cricket, footy, basketball or a game of cards – I never wanted to lose. I’ve had that attitude since my early age and I’ve kept it with me all through my life.
It seemed like as a bowling unit you came out with a definite plan against Sachin Tendulkar to pitch the ball full and into his body – given that’s the ball he’s been getting out to of late.
Yes, that has been a plan since the last couple of times we’ve played against him, and we’ve had a bit of success. It’s just a matter of going with what we know works, and this plan has worked for us. But I think we probably let him off a bit by loosening our line and length and strayed a bit here and there. We know it’s going to be hard work to get him out as it has been all through his career. But we’ve got to keep working hard. We’ve got to be more consistent against him tomorrow and put more pressure on him. Then the chances will come and we need to make sure we take them when they do.
How well did James Pattinson bowl today? A young fast bowler used to bowling on Australian wickets made all heads turn with his first Test bowling performance in India.
That’s what we like to see and that’s what the boys have shown in the past 12 months. The young fellows that have come in and delivered in whatever conditions and wickets they’ve got. It was a great start for him and I hope there are a lot more wickets for him in this series. What impresses me the most about him is his aggression and the way he keeps trying. I’ve known him since he was a little kid and I’ve played a lot of cricket with him. He likes to go hard, fast and keep doing the job throughout the day. That’s how I like to play my cricket as well.
Having so many fast bowlers in the side to rotate would be keeping Michael Clarke pretty busy on the field?
His job has increased with the young pacers coming in and he has done a good job with us. With three quick bowlers and an all-rounder it also gets a bit easier to ensure that no one gets too tired and every bowler keeps running in hard. We’re lucky to have so many young fast bowlers coming through.